CBI chief calls for 'industrial Olympics'

News that the head of business group the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called on the chancellor to launch several 'industrial Olympics' in his Autumn Statement features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Telegraph reports that CBI director-general John Cridland said "all the government’s efforts should be focused on growth", including infrastructure projects and efforts to help small and medium-sized companies. The paper says Cridland said the government should draw on the success of the Olympics and announce plans for a number of major building works, such as the Thames Tideway sewer tunnel, the northern rail hub and a "big new power station".

The Guardian reports that "fresh cracks have been appearing" in Conservative councillors' resolve to "drive through one of Britain’s most controversial programmes of local authority cuts". The paper says a £275 million contract is due to be outsourced by the London Borough of Barnet on 6 December and another estimated to be worth up to £750 million will be awarded early next year. "They will hand over responsibility to the private sector for the running of building control, planning, highways and transport, the crematorium and cemetery, trading standards, licensing and environmental health", the newspaper reports. But leaked emails published by the paper show concern from some Tory councillors that they do not have a mandate to push through the radical plan.

Home ownership has hit its lowest level for 24 years, the Telegraph reports. The paper says "five million aspiring homeowners are being shut out of the housing market in the wake of a decade of declining home ownership", according to a new report by advocacy group the HomeOwners Alliance. According to the newspaper, the alliance said levels of home ownership "are at a 24-year low of 64.7 per cent, down from a peak of 69.7 per cent in 2002".

The Times (subscription) reports that a new "cycle corridor through central London" could "transform the city centre for bike riders under radical proposals from the mayor". The paper says a new route, possible along the Embankment, would link Boris Johnson’s Cycle Superhighways that lead cyclists into central London. However, the paper adds, it is yet to be decided whether the corridor would be "safely segregated from traffic or merely painted strips on lanes used by cars and lorries".

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